Shawn Pittman’s musical influence bears the traces of all the different states he has lived in, from Dallas to Austin in Texas, and Oklahoma with a nod to the great Muddy Waters, and additional inspiration from such Blues artists as Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, and Albert King. Although his intoxicating blues vocal might lead you to think he is a New Orleans artist, vocalist/guitarist Shawn Pittman is, in fact, from Oklahoma. His latest album ‘Make It Right’ is a Blues-Rock treat of an album about the twists and turns of life and details the joy and pain that we all experience on our journeys. The album is blessed with a deep spiritual connection, and this demonstrates his perfect instinct of Blues Musicianship.
‘Make It Right’ is a varied collection of songs that all have something in common. Each track is played directly from the depths of Shawn Pittman’s heart and each song reverberates with the underlying feeling that he means every word and note he plays. You can feel his connection with the guitar and his deep-seated feeling that he wishes to connect directly and deeply with his audience. Each track bears the unique hallmark of Shawn as a guitar player and each song contains a reflection into the human spirit that effortlessly holds up a mirror to the soul.The focus for this particular album is the guitar, although Shawn is a talented multi-instrumentalist that can turn his hand to the piano harmonica and drums.
The album’s opener ‘Done Tole You So’ is a song that emotionally moves me to another time and place. This song creates a story in my head and sensations in my mind and body. I feel as if I am on an open road on The Legendary Blues Highway, US Route 61, in an open-top car with the wind in my hair. I can feel myself being transported directly to the grittiest funkiest rawest part of the USA.
The stand out track on this album is the title track ‘Make It Right’ a foot-stomping celebration of pure bluesy infectious joy.
‘There Will Be A Day’ This is a track that reverberates optimism after the nightmare, boasting skilful guitar licks and the sparsity of a John Lee Hooker solo.
‘Cold Sweat’ is a funky James Brown cover which leads into a rare groove of rhythm guitar technique. This song is purely instrumental but who needs words when the expression is within the instrument that talks directly to you? This track is outrageously funky with a hint of New Orleans flavour.
‘Fairweather Friend’ has glimmers of Muddy Waters and Lightnin’ Hopkins’ shining through it and these are the influences that illuminate this track. This is a classical blues track with a modern twist and a low down, grimy guitar tone.
‘Woke Up Screaming’ is a cover of Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland’s classic blues structure with an engaging B.B. King feel which takes me on a journey of a good dream turned bad.
‘For Right Now’ is a mellow embrace of life’s sweetness and a philosophical calling to connect with the fellow human spirit. ‘Make It Right’ is an album has an irresistible and instinctive natural feel that recreates the feel of a live gig in your living room. Shawn Pittman’s music style switches effortlessness from fresh and modern, to classic bare-bones, down and dirty Blues riffs and is a great follow up to his previous gig storming blues success.
Victoria Pearson- Freelance Journalist and Radio Host for Bombshell.com